Sure, this is normal.
On Wednesday, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler went out to talk to protesters in his city ... and was subsequently tear-gassed by the federal agents currently occupying it. Wheeler later decried the use of "urban warfare" against Portland citizens and said the tactic was an "egregious overreaction," noting, "I can tell you with 100 percent honesty, I saw nothing which provoked this response."
Ted Wheeler is certainly not perfect and many of those protesting in Portland have their issues with him as well — and Wheeler, for his part, appears to understand that. He also understands that the federal agents going around scaring the crap out of all of those people have got to go.
Oh we forgot: That's redundant.
Yesterday, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York) blew up the internet with her passionate condemnation of the misogynist culture that makes men like her colleague Rep. Ted Yoho (R-Florida) think they can get away with calling women horrible things and then be forgiven for it because, after all, look at my wife and daughters. It was brilliant and righteously sad and angry and (says this Doktor of Rhetoric) a hell of a tightly constructed argument, to boot.
And then the New York Times had to go and try to report on it. Oh lordy. You may have thought you saw a very smart member of Congress excoriating institutional sexism and the systems of power that have kept it in place, and carefully dissecting exactly why sexist men are so often able to get a free pass as long as they pretend to apologize. But the Times saw something a bit different. It saw a savvy political operator disrupting norms and enhancing her own prestige. Urgggh.
What a loss for humanity!
Finally! The moment that everyone has been waiting for all month — David Brooks has published an op-ed weighing in on cancel culture, beating new life into a dead horse. He will not be intimidated, he will not be afraid to say the exact same things that others like him have been saying for what seems like 6,000 years at this point.
As expected, it is a whirlwind of well-worn thoughts about the "intellectual exclusion" of conservatives and "heterodox" thinkers (by law, all essays decrying "cancel culture" must use the term "heterodox" at least 42 times) and handwringing because "This thing that was popular 30 years ago would probably not be a popular thing now!," and how people are afraid to share the things they believe on social media, because of how those things will be criticized.
So let's jump in, shall we?
Like other realms, American intellectual life has been marked by a series of exclusions. The oldest and vastest was the exclusion of people of color from the commanding institutions of our culture.
Today, there's the exclusion of conservatives from academic life. Then there's the exclusion of working-class voices from mainstream media. Our profession didn't used to be all coastal yuppies, but now it mostly is. Then there's the marginalization of those with radical critiques — from say, the Marxist left and the theological right.
Intellectual exclusion and segregation have been terrible for America, poisoning both the right and the left.
Dangerous incompetence? Or incompetent dangerousness? Hmmmmm.
Does Bill Barr need to take the Person Woman Man Camera TV test? Has our mendacious attorney general lost his marbles, or is he just lying again? Spoiler alert: It is both! Barr's circuits are fried from 25 years of Fox, and also he's full of shit.
Three and a half years into Donald Trump's presidency, Commander Couch Potato has suddenly decided that crime in America's cities is an emergency requiring drastic federal response. As opposed to a global pandemic, which the states need to deal with on their own, because the federal government isn't a shipping clerk.
DOJ agents will surge into "Democrat run" cities and somehow solve crimes in communities they know nothing about. Local police haven't been able to reduce crime in cities they know like the back of their hands, but Bill Barr has that big government magic serum that will put things right in a jiffy.